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NEWS
March 28, 2016
Chris Coons is a Democratic U.S. senator from Delaware More than a month after the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, most Senate Republicans have doubled down on their refusal to hold hearings, take a vote, or even meet with Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to fill the vacancy on our nation's highest court. Garland - chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit - is a respected and seasoned jurist, and the Constitution requires the Senate to provide "advice and consent" on judicial nominees.
NEWS
March 25, 2016
ISSUE | SUPREME COURT Still no precedent for ignoring nomination John Yoo, best known for authorizing the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping and waterboarding, also approves of the Senate's unprecedented refusal to consider Judge Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court ("Scalia's seat should be kept open," Sunday). Yoo cites the 1987 refusal to confirm Robert Bork, yet the Senate held hearings and voted on that nomination. There is no precedent for the Senate's refusal even to hold hearings on Garland.
NEWS
March 25, 2016 | By Jonathan Tamari, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - In a shift, Sen. Pat Toomey said Wednesday that he would meet with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, but stuck to his position that the high court vacancy should not be filled until after November's election. Toomey, the Pennsylvania Republican facing an onslaught of pressure over the nomination at the same time he seeks reelection, said in a statement he would take the meeting "out of courtesy and respect" for President Obama and Garland. But, he added, the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia's death "will not be filled until after the American people weigh in and select a new president, and I believe that is the best approach for deciding whether to alter the balance of the Supreme Court.
NEWS
March 24, 2016 | By Mark Fazlollah and Angela Couloumbis, STAFF WRITERS
The judicial tribunal weighing the fate of former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin abruptly froze his case Tuesday, a move that experts said suggested the case could end without a trial. Last week, the government lawyers who in December brought the misconduct case against Eakin over his exchange of offensive emails asked the Court of Judicial Discipline for permission to drop the most serious charge against him: bringing the Supreme Court "into disrepute. " The lawyers did so two days after Eakin, 67, a Republican who was first elected to the high court in 2001, resigned, becoming the second justice to quit the court because of the Porngate scandal.
NEWS
March 24, 2016
ISSUE | SUPREME COURTS Conduct board best suited to investigate To clarify my comments quoted in the Inquirer Sunday ("Judicial board: Tough enough?"): In reviewing the emails that Attorney General Kathleen Kane provided to the Supreme Court in late 2014, the court directed me to focus on three areas of immediate concern: pornography; improper communications about cases; and relationships that could require recusal. However, while these were my main focus, the court also asked me to report any other violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
NEWS
March 20, 2016
Garland would move the Supreme Court to the left, but how far? A4.
NEWS
March 20, 2016 | By Jonathan Tamari, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Facing a barrage of Democratic attacks - and scrutiny as a key figure in a debate dominating national news - Sen. Pat Toomey went to Scranton on Friday. The Pennsylvania Republican talked about a recently passed bill to combat opioid abuse, toured a prison, where he spoke about a measure allowing guards to carry pepper spray, and visited the state police barracks where two officers were ambushed in 2014. It was exactly the kind of day that Republican operatives say Toomey should strive to replicate as Democrats mount an all-out assault over the senator's refusal to consider President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, federal Appeals Judge Merrick Garland.
NEWS
March 20, 2016
John Yoo is a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, a former general counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a former Justice Department official. He is coeditor of "Liberty's Nemesis: The Unchecked Expansion of the State" Last week's nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court signals President Obama's willingness to compromise, but it comes far too late to induce a sudden state of happy cooperation. It should not change the political calculus of the Republican majority to keep Justice Antonin Scalia's seat open until the November elections.
NEWS
March 17, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis, Craig R. McCoy, and Mark Fazlollah, STAFF WRITERS
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin has resigned his seat on the state's highest court, months after being charged with judicial ethics lapses for his involvement in a pornographic email scandal. He is the second top jurist to step down amid revelations that prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement officials for years exchanged pornographic and otherwise offensive emails, often using state computers. "We have lost one of the finest jurists on the court," Eakin's lawyer, William Costopoulos, said at a news conference Tuesday.
NEWS
March 17, 2016 | By Chris Mondics, Staff Writer
Appearances to the contrary, Justice J. Michael Eakin wasn't horsing around. The case before the state Supreme Court involved two men from rural Mercer County arrested for riding a horse on a public highway while drunk. The men said Pennsylvania's motor vehicle laws were unconstitutionally vague, at least as they applied to their case, and asked that the charges be thrown out. Eakin disagreed and in a dissenting opinion lapsed into verse, borrowing from the theme song of the 1960s television show, Mr. Ed . "A horse is a horse, of course of course But the Vehicle Code does not divorce Its application from, perforce, a steed, as my colleagues said.
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